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Bathhouses fined in SW China for raising price amid snow disaster
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09:53, February 06, 2008

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Three bathhouses in southwest China's Guizhou Province where snow has caused chaos over the past three weeks were fined for raising prices without official approval, according to local sources on Tuesday.

"Two of the bathhouses raised their ticket prices from 20 yuan (2.8 U.S. dollars) to 30 yuan (4.2 U.S. dollars), the third had a price rises from 38 yuan to 48 yuan," said Duan Xiaoyun, head of the price inspection office of the price bureau of Guiyang, Guizhou provincial capital.

The trio were fined 50,000 yuan (about 7,100 U.S. dollars) each, said Duan.

Due to power and water shortage as a result of persistent snow and sleet, many citizens in the city were forced to take showers in bathhouses.

"According to regulation, businesses are not allowed to take advantage of natural disasters or emergencies to raise price," Duan said.

On Saturday, a restaurant in Guizhou was fined 50,000 yuan as well over unauthorized price increases of one yuan for each serving of noodles.

The worst winter storm in five decades has prompted governments to fight profiteering and maintain market order across China, especially as the Spring Festival is drawing near.

Source: Xinhua

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